Reports of an effort to add language supporting “gay marriage” to the official Democratic platform this fall have sparked controversy both within and beyond the party.
Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, said the addition of such rhetoric shows that “the outcome of the presidential election may determine the future of marriage in our country.”
On July 30, several media outlets reported that the Democratic drafting committee has voted to add a plank endorsing “gay marriage” to the party’s national platform.
Although the platform has not yet been finalized and would need to be formally approved at the Democratic National Convention in September, the reports have already led to controversy.
Brown believes that the move will harm the Democratic Party in the upcoming election.
“Voters in virtually every one of the presidential swing states have voted for marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” he explained.
The definition of marriage has been placed on the ballot in 32 states, and in each case, voters have upheld marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
These marriage amendments could be threatened if the Democratic Party formally endorses a redefinition of marriage, said Brown.
“That makes the definition of marriage a key issue in these swing states,” he said, and voters need to realize “that the outcome of the election is a proxy for the survival of traditional marriage in our nation.”
He noted that the Democratic National Convention will take place in the battleground state of North Carolina, where voters overwhelmingly adopted a constitutional amendment to protect marriage in May. The amendment received 61 percent of the vote and enjoyed a plurality of support among Democrats.
Although the drafting committee’s decision was reported to be unanimous, the Democratic Party is far from unified in supporting same-sex “marriage.”
A survey conducted June 28-July 9 by the Pew Research Center found that 65 percent of Democrats support a redefinition of marriage to include homosexual couples, while 29 percent oppose it.
On May 9, President Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to officially endorse “gay marriage.” The move led a wave of lifelong Democrats to leave the party, including prominent Pennsylvania committeewoman Jo Ann Nardelli.
Several prominent members of the Democratic Party have backed away from the president’s stance, refusing to back the controversial position.
Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) and Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) have voiced opposition to “gay marriage.” Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) have also spoken out against a federal redefinition of marriage.
The Coalition of African-American Pastors, a grassroots movement of black religious leaders, is taking a stand against the push for same-sex “marriage.” The group is working to raise awareness about marriage and has started a petition to support it.
Rev. William Owens, president and founder of the coalition, said that President Obama has “forgotten the black community” in order to cater to the demands of gay activists.
Owens told EWTN News on July 31 that the black community is already struggling in the areas of education, the economy and jobs. Initiatives that weaken the family just “add to the problems we already have,” he said.
He explained that the African American community does not want a redefinition of marriage and cannot be taken for granted by Obama in the upcoming election.
“We must hold him accountable,” he said.